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OLD SETTLERS q^^^^^--^ 



AUGUST 21st, 1902 








One year ago the pioneers braving the dust and undismayed by 
the awful drouth that then prevailed gathered in goodly numbers 
at their annual festival. 

Today they met under exactly opposite conditions of weather, the 
dust was gone from the roads and in its place was mud. The 
parched sands of the long dried up creeks and streams had disap- 
peared beneath the long continued flood. The then brown land- 
scape is now clothed with an almost tropical growth of vegetation 
and despite the damaged crops, the broken trees and storm-torn 
buildings, there is promise of plenty and good times to come. 

Owing to bad roads, high water, gone-off bridges and doubtful 
weather many were kept away. 

At noon about five hundred had gathered and later in the day 
several hundred more arrived. 

Promptly at 1 2 o'clock President R. P. Howell called the assembly 
to order, and the invocation was pronounced by Rev. DeWitt Clin- 
ton, of the Methodist church. Immediately after President Howell 
delivered the address of welcome, brief and to the point, inviting all 
present to partake of the sumptuous feast spread on the long tables 
beneath the shady apple trees. 

After dinner all gathered at the speaker's stand. A. B. Swisher 
was introduced and spoke as follows: 

Addrejss of Mr. Swisher. 

This generation is living what is called the "strenuous life." The 
boy at the age of a child tries to be and thinks he is a man full 
grown. The farmer requires the most expensive machinery, that 
the greatest amount of labor can be performed in the least possible 


time, with the result of more money and more land. The merchant 
demands the largest and best selected stock and forces the same on 
the market in the least possible time. The politician is strenuous 
in the methods of securing nominations, capturing votes, mode of 
life, increased assessment of taxes to be paid by the people and in 
the distribution of the money that the treasury may be strenuously 
relieved. The laborer, who with his organized unions attempts to 
force higher wages, has adopted this life. Capital with its immense 
corporations, trusts and combinations is in the full tide of this life. 
Speculation is rife and touches almost all classes of our people. The 
nation, in its reach after commerce and in its colonization of new 
and foreign territory, has well in hand the present strenuous life. 

What I have said is not for the purpose of criticism, nor is it for 
the purpose of the approval of this life. There is in it both good 
and bad. What I have said is more for the purpose of comparison. 

How different the life of the pioneers of this county in the '30s 
and early '40s! Then, in the memory of some of us here, our neigh- 
bors were a tribe of Indians, whose city was in Jefferson and Monroe 
townships. There were no markets west of the Mississippi river, 
no grist mill nearer than Burlington. No fruit except that which 
grew wild. The most of the clothing was manufactured in the home 
by the loom and the spinning wheel. The ox and the lumber wagon 
were the means of travel. Money was almost an unknown quantity 
and most of this was "wild-cat." Then we had an abundance of 
distance. From my old home, set among the hills of Jefferson town- 
ship, where so many sacred memories cluster, to Cedar Rapids (a 
distance of ten miles) but one house was passed — even after I was a 
boy large enough to "go to town" with my father. From our old 
home one might have gone northwest a thousand miles and would 
have been met only by Indians and buffaloes. The privations were 
many and great. The present generation will never experience such 
as they were and can hardly appreciate what they were. 

But life in those days was not all privations. With the privations 
came the pleasures. All were then young, strong, self-reliant, inde- 
pendent. They were blessed with the spirit of the conqueror; they 
were here for the purpose of conquering the storm which swept down 
from the northwest, from the ocean of prairie, to subdue the forest, 
to reclaim the plains, to plant that others might water and gather 
the fruit. They were here for the purpose of organizing the church, 
of building the school house, of incorporating into the life of this 
good county good government and splendid civilization. To ac- 
complish these things, they were all neighbors, one to another. 

Their sympathies were great, their friendship was strong, their hon- 
esty rugged, their love abiding, and their happiness almost univer- 
sal. These traits, desires, hopes and efforts in the pioneer life more 
than balanced the hardships and privations. 

No one, who has not had experience, can know or appreciate the 
happiness that comes in the unselfish sympathy and friendship found 
in a pioneer settlement, the satisfaction there is in watching the 
development in the pioneer home, the building of the first school 
house, the organization of the first Sunday school, the incoming of the 
first train, of the "settler's" covered wagon, the settling of the 
"mover" on the tract of land adjoining the pioneer home. These are 
pleasures peculiar to the pioneer, which are ever prized in afterlife. 

The building and development of a county in its resources, its 
education, its moral worth, influence and civilization, is not dissimi- 
lar to the construction of a great monument. The construction in 
the beginning, the foundation, must be substantial, solid, and well 
laid. The pioneers of this county were the constructors of the foun- 
dations of the present greatness and magnificence of this county 
which, for wealth, education, moral worth and political influence 
combined, has no superior in this matchless state of ours. The 
strength of the foundation is suflicient to support the weight of all 
future construction. 

In this foundation there has been moulded the rugged granite 
life of such men as Wray, DeVault, Brown, Adams, McCrory, 
Howell, Dennis, Sanders, Dixon, Williams, Parvin, Stover, Borland, 
Henderson, Cavanagh, Colony, Johnson, Wieneke, Hess, Sheperd, 
Gower, Davis, Coldren, Dey, Finkbine, Fairall, Robinson, Patter- 
son, Irish, Clark, Haddock, Ransom, Edmunds and many others I 
cannot mention, but not forgetting that rugged giant, S. J. Kirk- 
wood. These were solid granite slabs of the best of human life, 
which cemented together have builded with great strength the 
foundation of the greatness of this county. 

The latter generation has well recognized the splendid service of 
the pioneer in the beginning of the construction, and has continued 
the good building until this county has been changed from a beauti- 
ful expanse of forest and plain, sweetened with the fragrance of the 
sweet William and honeysuckle, the plumb and crabapple, rich in 
berries and wild fruit, roamed over by the deer and buffalo, storm- 
swept by flood and blizzard, until now it is a county densely popu- 
lated, wonderfully rich in its resources, renowned for its schools and 
university, strong in its influence in state and nation, with a people 
progressive, honest, intellectual, and moral. 


We, today, have much to be thankful for and are justly proud of 
our position, but the building of the great destiny of this county has 
but just begun. The builders of the future must be strong, capable, 
moral and just men if there be no unsound and weak places, when 
the destiny of the county is fully completed. This will be so, as 
humanity is ever growing better and more capable. 

Such days as this are full of the most genuine pleasure. It is, at 
least partially, a renewing of the unselfish love and sympathy that 
was ever present in pioneer life. The great majority of the pioneers 
have fought their rugged, hard and successful fight, have earned 
their reward, have crossed the great river and have entered the longer 
and greater life beyond. If honesty, integrity, love and sympa- 
thy make that river narrow and shallow and easy of transit, then 
these strong and good pioneers have crossed safely over, their boat 
has sailed over a smooth sea and is safely anchored upon the shore 
of that wonderful existence beyond. 

Rev. S. N. Fellows was then introduced and delivered a very 
pleasing address. lyieutenant Webb Henderson of Jefferson, Iowa, 
followed Dr. Fellows with a talk of the people and times gone by. 
After the remarks of Mr. Henderson John Springer read the follow- 
ing report of the necrological committee: 


The necrological list of the year 1 901-1902 is long and includes 
many well known and dearly loved names; names of those who were 
conspicuous and honored in this society from its foundation, who 
were eligible as members upon its first organization, when a requisite 
was citizenship or at least residence in the county before the year 
1843. Think for a moment how few there be who could now claim 
membership under such a limitation. These were of the chosen 
Argonauts who crossed the great river and claimed their homes upon 
the almost unknown prairies, while the infant state to be was yet in 
its territorial swaddling clothes. How few remain of the old settlers 
who were apart of that slender tide that came before 1840, who can 
recall the incidents that surrounded the early settlement of what is 
now the fairest portion of Iowa. How few yet remain who saw the 
laying of the corner stone of the capital, a little more than sixty-two 
years ago. vSome of those whose names follow in this long roll were 
among the first builders of the city, but more were those whose 
labors turned the prairies into fields and gardens. They hold indeed 

7 V 

the distinction of pioneers for it is by their favor that we succeed 
them and this association is lengthened on with the years. It was 
by their consent that the years required for eligibility of member- 
ship were advanced, until now those who came as children when 
they were gray-haired may participate in the pleasant associations 
they first founded and may claim a heritage in their works. 

In so long a list compiled from so many sources and in so short a 
time, it is impossible to render to each the need of mention that we 
would wish to give did time permit. And aside from brevity the 
same causes have operated in even greater degree to the bringing 
about of errors of omission and of commission. These are especially 
likely to have occurred in dates, and though several have kindly 
given assistance there is too much reason to fear that many yet re- 
main for correction, before this paper shall be prepared for a place 
in the archives of the society. 

In this number there are a few names on which we have specially 
dwelt for the reason that they were closely identified with the for- 
mation and the subsequent growth of the Old Settlers' Association 
of Johnson County. All these were members of the formal organ- 
ization in 1866, when Samuel H. McCrory was elected as the first 
president of the society. He was one of the signers of the first con- 
stitution, as were Sylvanus Johnson and Samuel J. Hess, and Isaac 

Sylvanus Johnson was, indeed, one of the builders of Iowa City. 
He came here in 1839 in response to Governor I^ucas' call for vol- 
unteers to engage in the "State I^ine War" then threatened with 
Missouri, having enlisted a number of men in Jones county where 
he had settled the preceding year. He arrived in Iowa City, pen- 
niless and in debt for his dinner, to find that the war was over. 
Those of you who were here in 1839 will recall that the city was 
then very new. There was not a brick house in the coming capital, 
and Mr. Johnson was a brick maker. In 1840 he opened the first 
brick yard and on the 5th day of April of that year with his own 
hands moulded the first brick for the store building erected on Iowa 
Avenue just west of Dubuque street. From that day until the in- 
firmities of age compelled his retirement from affairs he was one of 
the best known of your citizens. From his brick yard came the 
materials for the walls of the old Mechanics' Academy, store build- 
ings, the inner walls of the old capitol building, the early churches 
and school houses, and the adornment of brick chimneys for the 
more ambitious of the pioneers who were dissatisfied with clay and 
sticks. He has so recently passed away that he is yet fresh in the 


memory of all the early settlers. His name will long be perpetuated 
in his old home, for on the map of Iowa City the site of his pioneer 
brick yard bears the name of "Johnson's Out lyOt." While his 
health permitted, he delighted in these reunions of the pioneers and 
to meet again those who had been his associates when Iowa City 
was little more than a name and its future but a vision. As a pio- 
neer and as a citizen he wrought a grandly noble and honorable 
work and his manly record will for years to come do honor among 
those of his compeers in the early settlement and development of 

Elizabeth P. McCloud was born at Worthington, Ohio, January 
ist, 1823. When a girl of seventeen she came to Iowa City, then on 
the frontier of civilization, and in the springtime of the following 
year became the wife of that sterling young pioneer Samuel H. Mc- 
Crory. They met and overcame all the perils and privations that 
were borne by the early settlers^ and beside their own cares they 
aided in bearing those of others. For in all this part of Iowa there 
was no more hospitable home than that of the McCrorys, and no 
hands were more quickly extended in aid of charity, nor were any 
hearts more tender in sympathy or in sharing the trials that belonged 
to early life in the west. Mr. McCrory was a leader in the grow- 
ing affairs of the city and of the state; he was the first and indeed 
the only secretary of the Claim Association that secured to the pio- 
neer the home of his choice, and the record that still remains, writ- 
ten in the old log home, is the most valuable record that remains of 
the first home building of the state. He was the first choice of the 
county as a delegate to the constitutional convention of 1844, and 
was a member of the state legislature while the capitol was yet 
located at Iowa City. In all the affairs of life he found in his wife 
a grand and willing helpmate, one whose counsel was clear and 
whose spirit was strong. Her home was one where happiness dwelt 
and made glad all who crossed its threshhold. She was an early 
member of this association, and while her strength permitted was 
constant in attendance upon its annual meetings, where she rejoiced 
in again meeting those who had been her friends and companions 
through more than half a century, who with her had seen the growth 
and greatness of the chosen land. 

In 1839 Wm. B. Snyder, coming from Ohio, made his home in 
what is now Scott township, where his name is perpetuated in Sny- 
der Creek. With him were two girls, who coming to Iowa together 
filled out long and splendid lives, dying within a few months of 
each other, and within but a short distance of where their lives had 
been passed. One was his daughter, Margaret, who became the 


wife of Samuel J. Hess; the other, his niece, Susan Williams, who 
soon after coming was married to a strong young pioneer, Isaac 
Bowen. Sixty-three years during which they lived almost in sight 
of Iowa City has wrought a mighty transformation, and in this work 
they had a great part. The wife and the mother is the builder of 
the home in a great measure, and when you recall the pioneer women 
whose names are on the list read here today, such names as Mrs. 
Bowen, Mrs. Hess, Mrs. Lathrop, Mrs. McCrory, and others, you will 
see that the work they wrought was one of honor and glory to the 
state. Their names are held in honor and especially is that true 
here on this occasion. You, who for half a century were their com- 
panions and their friends, who shared with them the dangers and the 
narrow circumstances of early years, who rejoiced with them in pros- 
perity, shared their sorrow and lightened their grief when the death 
angel stood at the door, and who today do honor to their noble lives, 
can better estimate their worth than we who belong to another gen- 
eration and hear but as a tale that is told the history of sixty years 
ago. But we at least know that without these noble, loving, great- 
hearted. Christian women, Iowa would not have been nor be to-day 
what it is. Not all of their lives is history. Much of them is with 
us, and their influence for good will yet abide for years and many 

Mrs. Mary Welton Lathrop, when a bride of a month, came to 
Iowa from her New York home in May, 1847. While her coming 
was later than that of many of the pioneers, it is not to be thought 
that there were then no trials, or that the state had taken on the 
dignities that now mark it among the commonwealths. Iowa City 
was yet new, and the young bride had her full share of toil and pri- 
vation in the making of a home. Her husband was a man of many 
resources, for he taught school, edited a newspaper, made his farm, 
and bore a conspicuous part in the affairs of the new city. Yet to 
one ideal he was ever constant and that was to his own home, and 
there he found a love and devotion that made it the dearest place on 
earth. Were the pioneers more attached to their homes than are 
we ? The trials and the sufferings they endured to make them might 
lead us to think such was the case. Mrs. Lathrop, like the other 
women of the first settlement who have passed away during the year 
now closed, was known to most of you, and while she had long 
passed the allotted three score and ten years, her death comes as a 
great sorrow to all hearts, for she and her husband had been so 
actively and earnestly identified with the organization and progress of 
this association that it seems almost as a parting with one who held 
an honored place at each home circle. We know the merit of her 
work was great and we bring the chaplet of memory's treasures to 
her tomb. 


August,^! 901. 

Wm. Boettcher, Sharon township, 69 years; came about 1850. 
Mrs. Jacob Zimmerman, I^incoln township, 65 years; came about 

SkpTKmber, 1 901. 

John Verba, Solon, 93 years; came in 1852. 
Joseph S. lyodge, Iowa City, 78 years; came from Ohio in 1852. 
Mrs. Annie Stach, Iowa City, 81 years; came from Germany 
about 1868. 

Bascom Mason, Penn township, 71 years; came from Pennsyl- 
vania about 1868. He was a veteran of the war of the rebellion. 
Patrick Holland, Oxford, 70 years; came about 1868. 
Lewis Doty, Oxford, 76 years; came about 1852. 
Mrs. Elizabeth Bell, Pleasant Valley, 86 years; came in 1856. 
Henry Wachenfeldt, Iowa City, 50 years; came 1867. 

October, 1901. 

Mrs. Barbara Stagg, Iowa City, 65 years; came in 1867. 

W. H. Shipman, West Liberty, 76 years; was a long time resident 
of Iowa City, leaving here some years ago. 

Mrs. Anna Bbert, Iowa City, 74 years. 

James McGuan, St. Louis, 37 years, born in Iowa City. 

John W. Slemmons, Scott township; came in 1870. 

Benjamin Beard, Scott township, 50 years; born in this county. 

Mrs. Henry Lininger, Penn township, 35 years; born in the 

James Havlik, Iowa City, 52 years; came about i860. 
Joseph Lasheck, Iowa City; died in Denver, 35 years old. 
Thos. Jordan, Iowa City, 33 years; born in the city. 

November, 1901. 

Mrs. Margaret Huskins Devoe, Lone Tree, 72 years; came about 

Mrs. E. C. Nichols, West Liberty; born in Iowa City. 
Wm. G. Marshall, died at Glyndon, Minnesota. 
Adam Kramer, Iowa City, about 75 years; retired U. S. army 


Miss Mary E. lyyon, Solon, 86 years; came to Iowa about 1836, 
and to the county in 1839; sister to Mrs. Eben Adams. 
Miss lyizzie Williams, Tiffin, 60 years; came about 1852. 
Mrs. Catharine Knierem, Iowa City, 71 years. 
Mrs. J. C. lycasure, Iowa City, 47 years; born in Iowa. 
Mrs. Margaret Rice, Iowa City. 

Mrs. Henry W. Irathrop, Iowa City, 81 years; came from New 
York in 1847. 

December, 1901. 

Mrs. Mary Maher, Cedar township, 95 years came; to the county 
in 1853; was its oldest resident at the time of her death. 

Mrs. Mary K. Ingalls, Iowa City, 61 years; came about 1878. 

Peter Jacobs, Sharon, 73 years; came about 1866; veteran soldier. 

Mrs. Fred. Roegle, Scott township, 35 years; born in the county. 

Wm. C. McConnell, Iowa City, 70 years; came in 1861; veteran 

Harvey Ward, a former resident, died at Kansas City, aged 70 

Wm. H. Stoner, Penn township, 54 years; came from Pennsyl- 
vania in 1852. 

Mrs. Samuel J. Hess, Iowa City, 70 years; came from Ohio in 1839. 

Colonel John Pattee, former resident of the city, died at the Sol- 
diers' Home, Brookings, S. D., aged 82 years. He had filled many 
important positions in civil and in army life, and of state and 
national prominence. Came to Iowa City in 1851. Served in 41st 

Mrs. Margaret McCormick, 80 years; she died in Chicago, but was 
a resident of this city from 1854 to 1871. 

Matthew Truman Trotter, Greenfield, la., 58 years. 

J. A. Smith, 58 years, died at Beatrice, Neb.; was a resident of 
Iowa City from 1856 to 1879, and for many years engaged in busi- 
ness here. 

During the year, date not known, T. C. Joslyn, many years a 
resident and business man of this city, died at his home in Cali- 

January, 1902. 

Samuel Green, Penn township, 55 years, born in this county. 
Sylvanus Johnson, Iowa City, 87 years; came from Connecticut in 

Orrin Andrews, Morse, 77 years; came from Pennsylvania in 1838. 


Chas. Andrews, Morse, 40 years; born in the county; son of the 
foregoing. Father and son both dying on the same day. 

Mrs. Jacob Kramer, Iowa City, 62 years; she lived in the county 
over fifty years. 

Owen Cawley, Iowa City, 80 years; came from Ireland about i860. 

Samuel Hanke, Iowa City, 81 years; came to the state from Ger- 
many in 1855 and to this city in 1867. 

Mrs. Elizabeth Ann Ricker, Scott township, 71 years; came to the 
county in 1856. 

Charles W. Hobart, former resident of Iowa City, died in Tacoma, 

John Griffin, Hardin township, 63 years. 
R. Grissell, Solon. 

February, 1902. 

Mrs. S. H. Elliott, West lyucas, 77 years; came from Pennsyl- 
vania in 1867. 

Geo. W. lyewis, West Lucas, 88 years; came to the county in 1864. 
Geo. W. Watson, Clear Creek, 82 years; came from Ohio in 1854. 
John C. Wolz, Iowa City, 76 years; came in 1858. 
Titus R. Fry, Iowa City, 91 years; came to county from Ohio in 

Mrs. W. A. Cisne, Iowa City, 41 years; born in the county. 
W. R. Ogle, Iowa City, 77 years; lived in the county about 40 

Mrs. lyucina Stone, Iowa City; came from Ohio. 

Mrs. Ellen Brierton, died in New York aged 70 years. She had 
lived in this county about 40 years, removing only a short time be- 
fore death. 

Mrs. Anna Freeman, Iowa City, 74 years; came to the city about 

Mrs. Peter Klein, West Eucas, 41 years. 

Mrs. Dennis Lynch, Iowa City, 81 years; came here about 1876. 
Mrs. Anna Sibel, Iowa City, 49 years. 

Rev. Francis Emerson Judd, at Portland, Ore., 75 years; and dur- 
ing this month. Rev. Oscar Clute at Los Angeles, Cal., aged about 
70 years. Rev. Judd had in former years been the rector of Trin- 
ity church of this city, and afterwards was a missionary of the 
church in many of the counties of the state, making his home mainly 
in Marshalltown, but often visiting in this city, where he was 
held in loving estimation by many of the pioneers. Rev. Clute 
came to this city as minister of the Unitarian church in 1878 and 
remained about six years. Both of these clergymen died at about 


the same time far from the scene of their most active field of labor, 
which was in this state. 

March, 1902. 

Wm. Weekes, Washington township, 86 years; came from Eng- 
land about 1852. 

John U. Miller, Iowa City, 55 years; came in 1862; a veteran sol- 

Dr. James Murphy, Iowa City, 39 years; born in the county. 
Mrs. Henry Carson, West Lucas, 73 years. 
Henry Mueller, Iowa City, 89 years; came in 1854. 
Mrs. Elizabeth McCrory, 79 years; came from Ohio in 1840. 
David Collins, Iowa City, 63 years; came to the county in 1859. 
Mrs. Rose Purcell, Fremont township, 43 years; born in the 

Mrs. Elizabeth Wood Kauffman, Iowa City, 73 years; came from 
Dayton, Ohio, where she was born and lived five years after her 
marriage to h. Kauffman; came to this city in 1854. Mr. Kauffman 
died in 1891. 

Mrs. Jacob Koenigheim, Iowa City, 82 years. 

Aprii., 1902. 

Dr. W. D. Middleton, Davenport, 58 years; came as professor in the 
medical department of the University in 1867; a veteran of the war. 

Mrs. Isabella Waldron, died at Whiting, 72 years; came about 

Edward S. Lloyd, 42 years; born in the county; home at Remsen, 
died while visiting at his old home. 

Richard J. Lee, Iowa City, 35 years; came in 1877. 

Otho C. Jewett, many years residen there; died at Deadwood, S. D. 

John Tirkel, Solon, 74 years; came to county in 1857. 

John P. Jones, Iowa City, 57 years; came to the county in 1869. 

John W. Teefy, Iowa City, 90 years. 

May, 1902. 
Joseph Maher, 42 years; died in Chicago. 

Mrs. Margaret Marvin Hebard, 72 years; former resident of Iowa 
City, died in Cheyenne, Wyoming. 

William W. Tucker, Iowa City, 90 years. 
Thomas Rees, Union township, 84 years. 


Mrs. Julia Ann Hemsworth, 77 years; died in Chicago. 
Michael Goss, Iowa City, 76 years; came in 1857. 
John P. Orcutt, Iowa City, 74 years; came from Connecticut in 

Joseph B. Dennison, Penn township, 87 years; came from Ohio in 
1839. Mr. Dennison was the first settler of Penn township and 
from his coming until his death had lived on the same farm. He 
turned the first furrow in that large and fertile settlement now 
known as "The Bend," and built the first cabin in the township. 

Junk 1902. 

Mrs. Salem Beard, Iowa City, 35 years; came from Tennessee 
in 1884. 

Mrs. Helen Caspar, Iowa City, 76 years. 

John H. Cray, Fremont township, 62 years; came from New 
Jersey in 1857. 

George B. Cropley, Clear Creek township, 29 years; born in 
Madison township. 

J. F. Lawyer, Solon, 45 years. 
Jacob Houck, Hardin township, 52 years. 
Rice Thomas, Union township, 90 years. 
Mrs. John Cusack, Hardin township. 

Mrs. Daniel Sullivan, Iowa City, 81 years; came to the county in 
1852. ^ 

Daniel Sullivan, Iowa City, 81 years; came to the county in 1853. 
Mrs. Susan P. Bowen, Iowa City, 78 years; came from Ohio, 1839. 
Mrs. Joseph Smith, died at Anadarko, O. T. A former resident 
of Oxford. 

July, 1902. 

Mrs. Agnes Rabenau, Iowa City, 68 years; came from Germany 
in 1853. 

Joseph O'Brien, Oxford, aged 73 years. 

Mrs. Louise Albrecht, Iowa City, aged 91 years; came in 1843 
from Germany. 

Mrs. Jacob Lininger, Penn township. 

Peter Williams, Oxford township, 56 years; came from Ohio. 
Mrs. F'annie Ransom, Iowa City, 93 years; came from New York 
in i860. 

Mrs. vSarah Abrams, Iowa City, 79 years; came in 1866. 
Adam H. Mueller, Iowa City, 67 years; came to Iowa City in 
1855; veteran of the civil war. 


Rev. F. H. Chamberlin, Iowa City, 34 years. 
Mrs. Veronica Kotas, 74 years, died at Tipton; came here in 1861. 
Adam Kneise, Scott township, 73 years; came to the county in 

Henry S. Wei ton, died at I^ewiston, Ills., aged about 75 years. 
His home was at Mt. Auburn, Iowa. He came to Iowa City in 
1855 and for three years filled the professorship of ancient languages 
in the State University. Upon retiring from this position he 
engaged in business as a merchant and was quite successful. He 
was a very capable and scholarly man and held in high esteem by 
those who knew him. As a teacher, a merchant and a citizen he 
filled a large place in the earlier history of the city. 

Peter Hughes, Sharon township, 86 years; came to the county 
in 1844, walking from Muscatine. After some years stay he 
returned to Chicago, where he married and again came here to make 
his permanent home in 1852. 

August, 1902. 

Mrs. C. B. Cox, East lyucas, 73 years; came to the county in 1875. 
' The committee read letters from absent ones as follows: 


Sutherland, Iowa, August 19, 1902. 
genti.emkn of the committee on invitations for johnson 
County Old Settlers Reunion: 

Dear Friends: — Your kind invitation to the reunion on the 2 2d 
inst. is truly appreciated and nothing could give us at this time 
greater pleasure than to be able to accept the invitation and meet 
you face to face; but the way is not clear for us to do so and we 
must smother our disappointment with the hope that another year 
will find us able to meet the dear old friends of Johnson county at 
their annual reunion. 

It is forty-one years ago this month since we left Iowa City. Up 
to that time Dr. Woods with his wife and ten children were all liv- 
ing there. The time soon came however when they were widely 
separated never to meet again on earth. Father Woods was the first 
to pass away, dying at Camp Nelson, Ky., where he was stationed 
as chaplain of the camp in 1864. Since then his wife, three sons. 


and two daughters have followed him. Those still living are Lor- 
inda Cones, of Council Bluffs, la.; Budora White, of Atlantic, la.; 
Martha Sylvester, of Washington, D. C; Virginia Morgan, of New 
York City; and William Houston, of this county, who as I write is 
seated on a vine- wreathed veranda where many of the scores of people 
who daily pass wave him a pleasant salute. It is thirty-three years 
since we settled on the farm where we now live — truly pioneers 
here. There were not more than fifty persons in the county when we 
came. A fine town nestled beside us and for twenty years we have 
had the advantage of both town and country. The latch string is 
ever on the outside for the old settlers of Johnson county or their 
children and a hearty welcome awaits any who will come. Wish- 
ing you a delightful day and many returns of the same we are grate- 
fully yours, Mr. and Mrs. Huse Woods. 

Per Mrs. Woods. 

DUI.UTH, Minn., Aug. 20, 1902. 
A. E. Swisher, M. Cavanagh, Milton Remley, 

Dear Sirs: I have to acknowledge receipt of your invitation to 
attend the annual picnic of the old settlers of Johnson county. I 
would like very much to be with you, but I am so closely occupied 
that I cannot. 

The acquaintances of long ago are closer than one realizes, except 
when the sense of separation is awakened by some such touching 
invitations as the one you were kind enough to extend me. 

It is a quarter of a century since I left Iowa City, but its name 
will always be a thrill of pleasant recollections to me. 

I remember you all, and send kindest greetings. 

C. B. King. 

Sac City, Iowa, Aug. 18, 1902. 
A. E. Swisher, Milton Remley and Others. 
Iowa City, Iowa. 
Gentlemen: I am in receipt of your kind invitation to attend 
the old settlers picnic in Johnson county. Am very sorry that I 
cannot attend this year, for it would afford me a great deal of pleas- 
ure to meet with the old time friends and acquaintances and hope 
to meet with you in the near future. I was in Johnson county a 
few hours this summer, and was surprised and saddened to find that 
so many of the pioneers had gone to their rest. 

Very truly, 

J. W. Scott. 


Muscatine, Iowa, Aug. i6, 1902. 

A. E. Swisher, Esq., 

Iowa City, Iowa. 
Dear Sir: Your kind favor of the 14th inst. to hand, extend- 
ing an invitation to the annual picnic of the old settlers of Johnson 

I should like to attend the festivities and meet old friends again, 
but owing to the fact that I have been confined to the house for 
several weeks past with sickness, and have not as yet fully recovered, 
it will be impossible for me to be with you. 

With kind regards to all inquiring, and thanking you for the 
invitation, I remain, respectfully yours, 

Peter Musser. 

Des Moines, Iowa, Aug. 20, 1902. 

A. E. Swisher, 

Iowa City, Iowa. 
Dear Sir: Your invitation to my brothers and myself to 
attend the meeting of the old settlers of Johnson county came duly 
to hand. It will be impossible for any of us to get away at this 

We thank you very much for the invitation, and sincerely trust 
that you will have a royal good time. 

Yours truly, 


Des Moines, Iowa, Aug. 23, 1902. 

Mr. a. E. Swisher, et al., 

Committee Oi.d Settlers, Johnson County. 
Gentlemen: Please accept my thanks for the courtesy of an 
invitation to attend the meeting of the old settlers of Johnson 
county, Iowa, on the 21st instant. Unfortunately I did not 
receive it in time to adjust my business so as to attend, but I assure 
you that I appreciate the courtesy. 

Very truly yours, 

James G. Berryhill. 

Lawrence, Kan., Aug. 21, 1902. 

Mr. a. E. Swisher, 

Iowa City, Iowa. 
Dear Friend: For some reason your favor of the 14th did not 
reach me for several days after it was mailed. For years it has 
been my desire to visit my old home. The press of business with 
a little politics as a side issue, to say nothing of public office, and 


other cares have prevented. Kindly think of me next year a little 
earlier thus giving me notice in time, and I will make special effort 
to meet with the old settlers. 

Kindly remember me to Mr. Cavanagh, Mr. Remley and other 
friends. With best wishes, Yours truly, 


After the reading of the letters and reports a business meeting 
was held. The report of Henry Wieneke was read showing the 
amount received during the year past to be $51.57 and the amount 
disbursed I50.19 and a balance on hand of $1.40. The report of the 
treasurer was approved and ordered spread upon the record. 

W. H. Buchanan of Solon, was elected president for the coming 
year and Isaac Weber, of Sharon, vice-president; A. E. Swisher, of 
Iowa City, 2nd vice-presiaent; L. W. Miller of Pleasant Valley, 3d 
vice-president; G. R. Irish of Bast I^ucas, secretary, and Henry J. 
Wieneke, treasurer. 

Mr. Springer improved the opportunity of taking a picture of the 
old cabins surrounded by a number of Johnson county pioneers. 
One of the features of the sumptuous dinner was the coffee prepared 
by Mrs. Metzger, who proved to the satisfaction of all present that 
the art of making coffee is not confined to Kd. Sheppard or Frank 
Luce. The beverage of her production has never been excelled and 
rarely equalled. 

Another item of comment was a sign, a half century old, of Dr. 
W. Reynolds. This was obtained from Chas. Weber and placed on 
the log cabin where it was viewed with interest by old timers. 

The following is a list of old settlers present: J. E. Adams, L. A. 
Allen, J. h. Adams, Geo. T. Borland, Geo. W. Bale, Thomas Bru- 
baker, Martin J. Burge, Alonzo E. Brown, Anthony Beuter, W. H. 
Buchanan, Edward Balluff, Dr. A.J. Burge, John Brady, Chas. Baker, 
Eugene A. Ballard, Stephen Bradley, Calvin Curtis, C. E. Clifford, 
J. N. Clark, W. D. Cannon, Sr., Thomas C. Carson, A. N. Cur- 
rier, Samuel Calvin, Matthew Cavanagh, Earl Custer, David M. 
Dixon, Lorimer Douglas, Byron Dalton, Nicholas Dalscheidt, T. D. 
Davis, George A. Deal, Byron Dennis, John Eggenberger, Rev. 
Stephen N. Fellows, Charles Francis, Sam. P. Fry, Mrs. Sam. P. 
Fry, S. H. Fairall, John Ckeulich, Ralph P. Howell, David H. Hast- 
ings, Lemuel Hunter, Frederic W. Hemsted, Oliver C. Hill, Mrs. 
Teresa Hohenschuh, George Hunter, Sion Hill, W. J. Huff and 
wife, Ramsey Hevern, Samuel J. Hess, John R. Hughes, Virgil 


Hartsock, A. R. Hedges, Hezekiah Hamilton, August Hasselhorst, 

D. W. Henderson, G. R. Irish, David W. Jones, Stephen Jacob, John 

E. Jayne, R. A. Kean, M. Kessler, J. Kramer, G. W. Koontz, W. 
A. Kettlewell and v/ife, Mrs. Kirkpatrick, C. A. I^ucas, Garret lyan- 
caster, J. J. I^ee, BUen Langenberg, I^ewis A. I^angenberg, J. J. 
Metzger, J. J. McKray, C. G. Moore, Bruce Moore, Inez G. Moore, 
U W. Miller, Geo. McGruder, John j. Miller, Thos. Metcalf, Al- 
bert Miller, Mary Miller, Phillip Miller, J. G. Marner, W. H. 
Miller, J. W. Morford, John McCoUister, Benj. Owen, Frank A. 
Parrott, James Poland, Chas. Pratt, Geo. W. Pinney, James T. 
Robinson, Jacob Roessler, B. M. Robertson, Jacob Ricker, D. 
A. Reese, F. X. Pattenmeyer and wife, Leroy Rundel, Mrs. C. 
M. Riley, A. A. Roessler, C. F. Robinson, Mrs. E. A. Hunter, 
Wm. T. Sweet, Abraham Swisher, Zachariah Smith and wife, 
Geo. W. Swords, F. A. Stratton, J. Y. Stover, C. H. Stable, 
Anthony Stable, P. J. Stable, J. E. Switzer, J. F. Shepherd, Jno. 
Springer, Fred Schneider, David Stewart, Christian Senner, John 
Stevens, Frank Stackman, J. W. Schell, Jno. C. Shrader, Jno. A. 
Stevenson, George Sclilenck, Miss Hannah Ten Eyck, Hiram Toms, 
J. Peter Von Stine, J. P. Von Stine, Jr., Henry J. Wieneke, Henry 
Walker and wife, Sarah Wilson, Emory Westcott, Isaac S. Weber, 
Edna B. Wilson, Joseph Walker, James S. Wilson, Naomi Work- 
man, Finette Schley. 

The following and many others, although not registered, were also 
on the grounds: J. K. Strawbridge, Mrs. Peter Dalton, Mr. and 
Mrs. A. Richardson, Mrs. C. W. Irish, Mrs. G. R. Irish, Miss Eliza- 
beth Irish, Miss J. T. Irish, Mrs. H.H. Kerr, Julius Hill and wife, Jane 
Hill, Mrs. H. D. Summer, Mrs. F. A. Stratton, Lester McKray, Mrs. 
Jas. McKray, Mrs. E. F. Rate, Miss Lucy Hemsted, Miss Annie 
Hope, Mr. and Mrs. E. Hope, Mrs. Alonzo Brown. Mrs. Emory 
Westcott, Misses Jane and Emor Westcott, Miss Mary Von Stine, Miss 
Ella M. Borts, Mrs. C. W. Borts, Mrs. H. J. Wieneke, Mrs. A. W. 
Bradley, Mrs. Frank Parrott, Misses A. and E. Wilson, Mrs. H. H. 
Abrams and daughter, Wm. Andrews, Miss Nettie Hill, Mrs. Olive 
Jackson, Edwin Hill and daughter, Mrs. Green Hill, L. P. Kessler, 
Mrs. John Springer, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Springer, Charles Shel- 
lady and wife, Mrs. Goody, Thomas Cox, Robert Simpson, Mrs. C. 
Senner, Mrs. S. A. Sunier, F. Albright, Miss Josephine Eicher, Miss 
Kate Hohenschuh, Mrs. M. Leonard, Mrs. Geo. Wright, Mrs. Jno. 
Ellson, Mrs. A. T. Calkins, Mrs. B. Swafford, Mr. and Mrs. Hatch, 
Mrs. R. A. Kean, Mrs. Nancy Stevenson, Mrs. Geo. W. Koontz, 
Mrs. E. A. Ballard, Mrs. Hortense Stillings, Miss Eydia McKray, 
Mrs. R. P. Howell, Mr. Warren, Wm. Pratt, wife and daughter, 


Sam. C. Jones, Mrs. D. H. Hastings, Mrs. J. Y. Stover, Mrs. Fanny 

I find the two following papers in the papers belonging to the 
association, they are worthy of a place in our publications. Mr. 
Hyde died in Davenport, May 15, 1899, and Mrs. Hyde died there 
Dec. 5, 1900. 


There are many former residents of Scott county residing in 
Johnson county, some of whom were early settlers of the first 
named, and there is probably not one of them who does not know 
Andrew J. Hyde and his estimable wife personally or by reputation. 
After more than fifty years residence on their Pleasant Valley farm, 
Mr. and Mrs. Hyde, among the earliest and most highly respected 
of Scott coonty's pioneers, removed to Davenport, in which city 
they will undoubtedly reside until the final summons shall reach 

The subjoined from the Davenport Democrat, will be found to 
possess much interest to the old settlers of Johnson county, whose 
memories of pioneer days correspond to a large extent with those 
here furnished, and to their children as well. 

"Yes," said Andrew J. Hyde, the Scott county pioneer, "I have 
seen dry summers in Iowa before, but I never saw a drought that 
was on in full force as early in the summer as this one is." 

Mr. Hyde was sitting on the porch of his pleasant residence on 
Arlington Avenue as he spoke. He came to it from his farm in 
Pleasant Valley something less than a year ago, determined to 
spend his declining days in comfort in the city. After so many 
years in the country, town life has hardly fitted itself to him at all 
points as yet, but he is getting used to it, and at the same time 
improving in health. He has been almost an invalid for some time 
and many another man not blest with his cheerful disposition and 
his unchanging determination to look on the bright side of things, 
would have been flat on his back a good deal of the time. It is Mr. 
Hyde's belief that a good laugh comes nearer being a panacea than 
any remedy in all the pharmacopeia. 


"I don't know why we should have had these several years of 
drought in succession," said Mr. Hyde, "but I know what I think 
about it. I think we have contributed to this condition by over- 
draining with tile." 

"When I came here in 1836 the land was new. It had never 
been touched, and had never grown any crop but the prairie grass, 
the hazel brush, and the forest. It was said then by all of us who 
had come from the east, where the land was under pretty thorough 
cultivation and where it had been cultivated for many years, that 
this soil had a wonderful capacity for standing drouth. We had 
dry seasons then. They opened out on us later in the year, but 
they gave us a good chance to test the laud in this way. Since then 
the ground here has been altered. Continual cropping, and much 
of it with no effort to restore the fertility which has been taken off 
the land and hauled to market in sacks has sapped the vitality 
off the soil. It does not have the ability to resist drouth as it once 

"This much for that ground that lies high, and that has never 
been drained, or in need of it. As for the sloughs and hollows and 
damp spots, all over Iowa, eastern and central Iowa especially, we 
have got rid of them. They used to grow a big crop of high rank 
slough grass. Its roots matted together and held water like a sponge. 
One of these sloughs would hold water in soak through a long dry 
spell. It would drain out slowly, forming a little stream through a 
long dry season; watering the stock along a little valley and helping 
to keep the creeks and rivers running. It also helped to form clouds 
by furnishing water for evaporation, and we had more in those 
days. We had all our farms so fixed in these days that the rain run 
off them in a very short time, and they are left as dry as ever. 
They don't hold the moisture as they used to do. I regarded 
those sloughs of former days as valuable features of our farming 
land, and I now think, more than ever, that we made a mistake 
when we went to work and drained them all. Some of them might 
have been profitably drained, perhaps, but to get rid of them all 
was not a good policy. It is a hard matter now to find a farm that 
has a slough on it, at least on our uplands. There were plenty of 
them forty years ago, and I think we had a better soil and climate 
then because of them." 

Mr. Hyde recalled a number of climatic phenomena of the past 
half century in this part of the country. Adverting to the famous 
"cold winter" of 1842, mentioned in a recent interview in this paper 
with his old friend Adam Donaldson, he told of the stress of weather 


the settlers suffered that year. It has been a meteorological land- 
mark for them, a sort of low temperature gauge by which they have 
compared all their seasons since. 

That fall of 1842, Mr. Hyde says, was one of the finest he ever 
saw. Looking back at it now through the haze of over half a cen- 
tury, he is sure he never saw such autumn weather as it gave this 
part of the country. The days were perfect dreams of delight, and 
each one of them for weeks together seemed the peer of the days that 
had preceded it. 

But on the 9th day of November, rather an early date now for 
winter to begin, a rain commenced. It rained a day or so, and then 
the wind shifted to the southwest and snow began to fall, and with 
it came wind and tempest, and this delightful state of affairs con- 
tinued for about ten days without interruption. The wind-up of it 
was a spell of bitter cold that old settlers recall now with a shudder. 
There was much of suffering among them, and their live stock had 
much to do to keep alive, for most farmers then were very poorly 
provided with shelter for their animals, and some had barely any at 

The John Shaw, a big steamer for these waters in those early 
days, had come up the river, and in the low water that resulted 
from the long dry autumn, it got hard aground near the mouth of 
Duck creek. Two young men were left on it to watch and care for 
it till it could be floated off by a rise. One of them was Levi 
Chamberlain, father of Attorney Wm. M. Chamberlain of this city 
today. The John Shaw was still on the rocks when the blizzard 
caught her, and she staid there through it. Ice made rapidly, and 
she was soon in the grip of the river, hard and fast. The cold 
became so intense that these two watchers aboard of her used up all 
their fuel in a vain effort to maintain comfortable temperature, and 
when it was gone they found themselves forced to turn to and burn 
the steamer. That is they removed such portion of her woodwork 
as were least essential and fired them into the stove, until the ice 
had grown solid enough to let them get off. It took a lot of fuel to 
fight the cold out of the thinly-partitioned apartments of the boat 
in that awful wind, and a large amount of carpenter work was 
needed on her next spring. 

The corn in those days grew like a small forest. Mr. Hyde well 
recalls the unusual height it reached that year, and how a short man 
might almost need a ladder to reach the ears, according to the tall 
stories told to doubting friends back east. The snowfall was so 
heavy, however, that the fields were level with it at about the height 


of the ears, and the prairie chickens, which were about as thick in 
the country then as English sparrows are in town now, could walk 
over the crust in fields and eat corn at their own sweet will. It was 
all so unexpected that no corn had been gathered, and when the big 
storm was over the farmers found their hogs and other animals almost 
without provision, and the corn crop in the embrace of the winter 
in such a way that it seemed almost impossible to unlock it. It was 
impossible to drive a team into a corn field in such snow, and the 
corn was gathered only by driving up along a field where the snow 
was shallow enough to permit it, unhitching the horse, and then 
wading about in the snow shoulder-deep, dragging a bag, and slowly 
and painfully filling it with corn, wading back to the sled to dump 
it when a bagful had been gathered in this fashion. It was a kind 
of corn husking that this state has probably seen nothing of since. 
In January came a thaw, as related by Mr. Donaldson, and it took 
ofE the snow, laid bare the ground which was hardly more than 
frozen under all that white blanket, and killed the beautiful green 
winter wheat dead. 

Mr. Hyde regards his crop of spring wheat, grown in 1837, as the 
first grown in this county. Thirty bushels and more of this grain 
was not an uncommon yield to the acre in those days, and Mr. Hyde 
recalls fall wheat that ran 50 bushels to the acre. Those days are 
now long past. A fifth of that yield on many fields would be a fair 
crop now, if any effort were made to raise wheat here at all. 

The farmer of this day knows nothing whatever of the hard work 
the early farmer here had to do to put in, cultivate and save a crop. 

"In those days," said Mr. Hyde, "we made our own plows. We 
got the share and landside at the blacksmith's, and we made the 
rest of it ourselves. A white-oak tree with the right crook in it was 
hewn and shaved out to form the mouldboard, and the share and 
landside were bolted to it. A sapling made the beam, and the limbs 
or saplings of the right crook were smoothed out to make the handles. 
I broke a beam out one time by running afoul a redroot, which was 
one of the toughest things we encountered in our fields then. I left 
the team standing, went right into the woods near at hand, and cut 
a sapling of the right length and size, and put it into place right 
there, and went on plowing, and all with no great loss of time. I 
wonder if there is a farmer in the county now who would not be 
broken up for the day if he snapped a beam in that way!" Probably 
there is not. 

Mr. Hyde recalls the first really good plow in this part of the 
country. It came from the shop where John Deere worked at 
Grand Detour. It was first class in every way, an honest piece of 


work and satisfactory to its owner. "It was this honest workman- 
ship that made John Deere's fortune," said Mr. Hyde. "It soon 
became known all through here that a John Deere plow was one 
that could be depended on. By 1846 quite a good many of them 
were in use here. Other good plows were brought here in the mean- 
time from Cincinnati and sold well, but they were made during but 
a few years. The great trouble with the plows in those days was 
was that in some soil they would not scour. The dirt would stick 
to the mouldboard and they would make a mark in the dirt that 
looked as though a log instead of a plow had been hauled through 
it. A plow that would scour anywhere would have a reputation 
over a whole neighborhood, and every man in that part of the 
county would be after it to borrow it. It would never have an idle 

"And yet," said Mrs. Hyde, who sat placidly at her husband's 
side, aiding his memory and recalling things that happened and 
existed in the old days as he talked, "we were just as happy then 
as we are now. The people who settled here were not uneducated, 
shiftless, poor stock, and they did not come here as a last resort 
because they had no other place to go, and no relatives to keep 
them. Many of them were of the best families of the eastern states. 
Many of them were as well reared, as well educated and as cultured 
as any of their friends to be found in homes of refinement in the 
east. It was no uncommon thing for us to be able to give our 
eastern visitors genuine surprises when they chanced to drop in on 
us to see how we lived out here on the border. We showed them 
that it was as possible to entertain in a manner truly refined and 
elegant in a log cabin as it was in a residence. We had our plain, 
simple pleasures, enough for our wants, our freedom from petty cares 
and most of us had good health. We did not live then in an atmos- 
phere of artificial wants and needs, but our wants were more nearly 
genuine, and they were really easier supplied, for most of us had 
the means at hand to do it. We enjoyed ourselves in those old 
days — but what is the use of me telling you all this ? You have 
heard this thing said by every old settler in the country." 

Mr. and Mrs. Hyde cordially agree that it is full time that some 
person with the time and the intelligence needful for the work set 
himself to the gathering of the reminiscences of the lingering 
pioneers, together with their pictures, and photographs of the early 
homes and school houses and churches of the county. Not many 
years of this opportunity remain. There are not many pairs of eyes 
in this county now that looked on the real beginning of things 
here. This is an opening for the person who has time and no use 
to make of it. 



Poem Read by Abel Beach at the Annual Reunion, 
August i, 1894. 

As we view the depths of ocean, casting waves upon the shore. 
Bearing shells with jeweled fleeces — like the Argonauts of yore. 
First we look around and wonder if along these sands of time. 
Foot prints still are found, or echoes of some lingering golden chime. 

Yea, to left and right I recognize, before me, pioneers, 
Worthy patriarchs — aye, prophets, of the long remembered years. 
When the chosen land they honored well rejoiced to see their day 
By their efforts grand and glowing in the sunset parting ray. 

Changed somewhat in form and features, halting step or falling sight; 
But distinguished for achievements won — all brighter brought to 

Representing generations past, whose shadows kiss the sky. 
Welcome once again; remember in your footsteps we are nigh ! 

Lo, beyond yon hazy background and dissimulating ridge. 
With converging lines of life, I view a narrow, open bridge. 
Hosts unnumbered scurry onward, passing thro' the yawning gate, 
One by one with hurry, hasting, to resolve a final fate. 

Serried ranks are widely scattered in grim cemeteries 'round, 
Foremost pioneers and soldiers, side by side, at length have found 
Final rest from toil and struggles in our Mother Earth of peace. 
Where, in sacred soil of heroes, all their worldly labors cease. 

Mythologic story tells us that from Dragon's teeth there sprung 
Valiant men whose glory growing ever afterwards was sung; 
So we trust, full-panoplied, the sons of heroes will arise. 
Elevating men to spheres appropriate for earth or skies. 

In the flowery field of romance dreams are realized in song. 
Made elysian as some fairy nymphs the silken threads prolong 
Half of life is seldom real; wild the wing of fancy sweeps, 
lyike a magic spell appropriate to us, but seldom keeps. 


Who can say imagination, when allowed to wander free, 
Shall not find enchanted islands, bright as ever bathed by sea? 
Fairy scenes, wits elfin actors, luming night as bright as day, 
Sounding 'round the welkin echoes — borne on wings of wind away. 

Come with me the while we're waiting; climb the summit of this 

Panoramic views reward enraptured visions at their will; 
Dimly gleams the vista of the past, now vanishing away. 
Brimming beams the bliss that ushers in a new and brighter day. 

While some painted recollections mark the ever hallowed past, 
Greater acquisitions in majestic garb are seen at last, — 
Lightning, steam and latent powers, at length developed long con- 
cealed — 

Day by day made patent plain, disclose their mystery — revealed. 

What has been and more, the grasping future claims again can be; 
Ceaseless progress on progression marks our nineteenth century; 
And when all the ages, summoned, give concluding resume. 
Rare historic pages, hardly paralleled, will mark our day. 

Open now the swinging portals of new centuries in view. 
Recognize the vast advancement — old retiring from the new. 
Better homes and health and harvests, safer railroads, brighter lights, 
Greater comforts, wealth, prosperity, that everywhere invites. 

Nature, generous when favored, holds abundance in reserve; 
Sometimes free to scatter seeds and sometimes careful to conserve; 
Making marked improvements, scientifiic progress, constant gain: 
Favoring new improvements having worthy objects to attain. 

May we not believe, too, when the scales are taken from our eyes. 
Men redeemed from sordid senses, can behold their brothers rise? 
Made fraternal, sound the praises of an age that's disenthralled — 
Make good will abound on earth, as well as found in heaven installed? 

Now, Old vSettlers, when Time's summons comes — as soon it must 
to all, 

IvCt us prove as brave as any e'er responding to his call; 

Not ashamed to stamp our impression on age we helped to build. 

Proud of chance to vamp the fashion where high destiny is filled. 


Listen! hear the echoes sounding from the valleys, plains and peaks! 
Fainter dying in the distance, one and then another speaks; 
Forty, fifty years or over tell of generations past, 
And the strongest hears announcement, "soon you, too, will be 'the 
last.' " 


Since the annual meeting, death has touched with his icey hand 
many of the older members of the organization. Of the number, 
Mrs. James Cavanagh and Mrs. David J. Wilson, by reason of the 
great age to which they had attained their long residence in the 
county, their social qualities and the grandeur of their lives are 
deemed worthy of special mention here. 

Sarah Garvin was born December i8, 1811, in Rockbridge county 
Virginia, her parents having died in her infancy, she was taken by 
her uncle and aunt to Ohio and there grew to womanhood. In 1834 
she was married to David J. Wilson, in Delaware county, that state, 
and with him came to Johnson county in 1840, making their home 
at Carthage, in Scott township, where they lived and wrought for 
nearly fifty years. Having gained a competency they disposed of 
their farm and removed to Iowa City, where they passed in peaceful 
enjoyment their later years. 

To them were born six daughters and three sons. Of the daughters 
Estaleva and Anna remained at home with their grand old father 
and mother. Mr. Wilson died in February, 1901. In early life 
Mrs. Wilson became a member of the Methodist church, in later 
years becoming convinced of the truth as taught by the Seventh Day 
Adventists she joined that denomination and died in that faith. 
With a warm-hearted friendship for all, and unswerving devotion to 
her family and home and a firm reliance that the righteous shall 
enter into their reward Mrs. Wilson lived. After a brief illness in 
the full use of her faculties her eyes closed upon the scenes of earth 
to reopen in the new Jerusalem. She died August 28, 1902, aged 
90 years, 8 months and 12 days. 

Amy Kinney Townsend was born May 6th, 1806, near Toronto, 
Canada, and when nine years old removed with her father's family 


to Sandusky, Ohio. From Ohio they removed about 1825 south- 
western Michigan. She was married April nth, 1830, to James 
Cavanagh, and in 1839 Mr. and Mrs. Cavanagh and a family of five 
boys came to Iowa and settled on a farm near the Cedar river, five 
miles east of Solon in Johnson county. Here three more boys were 
born to them. They lived there until 1858 when they sold the 
farm and came to Iowa City, and acquired the homestead where she 
has since resided. In 1880 her husband, Judge James Cavanagh, 
died, since which time she has lived alone with her son Abram, 
who has been her constant companion, has waited upon her and 
nursed her through the many years of her helplessness with a filial 
devotion unsurpassed except by her own maternal devotion, that 
knew no limit through all the years of the rearing of her eight boys. 

Of this family of eight sons only Matthew and ^ Abram T. survive 

There being no girls in the family, and living amid the hardships 
and privations of pioneer life, where female help was almost impos- 
sible to get, it can be readily understood what Mrs. Cavanagh's work 
must have been, particularly when it is understood that she was one 
of the best and neatest housekeepers of these pioneer days. 

Mr. and Mrs. Cavanagh united with the Methodist Episcopal 
church when they lived on the farm, that being the only church in 
the neighborhood, and for years their home was a favorite stopping 
place for the ministers of that denomination, after one of whom one 
of their boys was named. 

After coming to Iowa City they united with the Presbyterian 
church, mainly for the reasons that Mr. Cavanagh had been trained 
in that church, and Mrs. Cavanagh had been reared in the Quaker 

Such is a brief outline of this remarkable life, which has spanned 
nearly a century, she having lived to the advanced age of ninety- 
six years, four months and ten days. She was one of that noble 
band of pioneers, only a few of whom remain, who endured the 
hardships that are unknown today, and laid the foundations of the 
great state of Iowa. 

Mrs. Cavanagh was a woman of most decided character, and 
among her chief characteristics were a devotion to principle that 
knew no compromise, a steadfastness of friendship for every one 
that knew no abatement, a faith in the bible and in Jesus Christ, he 


Savior, that knew no misgiving, and an optimism that was ever 

On last Tuesday afternoon, Sept. i6, 1902, without disease and 
without pain, and while sitting in her chair, she quietly passed 
away in the abiding hope and faith of meeting her loved ones who 
had gone before, in a state of blissful immortality. 

The funeral services were conducted at her late home, 803 Reno 
street, Iowa City, the Rev. Dr. Fellows of the Methodist Episcopal 
church, and the Rev. Mr. Wylie of the Presbyterian church, officiat- 



Having been ordained priest by the saintly Mathias Loras, the 
first bishop of Dubuque, on the 19th day of December, 1852, with 
Rev. Williams Emonds, we said our first masses, he at old St. Mary's, 
Dubuque, I being his only assistant. I said mass at the old Cathe- 
dral, having Rev. Emonds for an assistant. In those days the 
young priest had no solemn high mass, no sumptuous dinner, nor 
the accessories of the newly ordained priests of the twentieth cen- 
tury. After our first mass at Dubuque and attending vespers we 
had to walk back to Mt. St. Bernard's, the little seminary of the 
Dubuque diocese, with the beautiful snow knee-deep, the distance 
of six miles, all uphill, a prelude to our future missionary life of 
fifty years almost to date. If Rev. Emonds and the writer live we 
will celebrate our golden jubilee December 19, 1902. We remained 
at Mt. St. Bernard's until the eve of New Year, 1853, when the 
saintly Loras gave us our faculties and appointments; Emonds to be 
pastor at old St. Mary's, Dubuque, I to assist the Rev. I. P. McCor- 
mack at the old St. Mary's church, Iowa City. 

During the first week of January, 1853, I arrived at Iowa City, 
and was gladly received by Father McCormack; who was in poor 
health and unable to attend the many calls of the Catholics of the 
city, Johnson, I^inn, Cedar, Washington, Iowa, Poweshiek, Benton 
and all counties west to the Missouri river and north to the Minne- 
sota line. There was a priest at Fort Des Moines for some time, 
but not then; a Father Plath, a worthy and pious and noble German 


priest, who is long since at rest and now enjoying the rewards of 
his sacrifices and labors with our good Father in heaven. 

In February, 1853, ^^v. McCormack, with permission of the 
bishop, went to Ireland for his health, and on his return to Dubuque, 
September, 1853, was appointed pastor of the new St. Patrick's 
church and consequently never returned to Iowa City. Rev. McCor- 
mack was a cultured gentleman, a grand preacher of the word, kind 
and charitable to the poor, and much beloved by the entire diocese 
of Dubuque and particularly by the Catholics of Iowa City and sur- 
rounding missions. The Rev. McCormack took charge of the mis- 
sions in and around Iowa City some time in the year 1849. 
was born in the County Carvan, near I^oughsheelin, Ireland, and 
there made his classical studies. 

The pastor of Iowa City prior to Rev. McCormack was the Rev. 
P. F. Poiette, who had charge from 1847 advent of Rev. 

McCormack; died in New Orleans in the odor of sanctity some 
twenty yearsr ago, having been pastor of St. Joseph's church for 
twenty years. The Rev. Poiette was one of the band of noble French 
missionaries who came with Bishop I^oras to the Northwest Terri- 
tory, which now includes Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and 
the Dakotas; and who helped to plant the cross on every promon- 
tory from the Gulf of Mexico to the Falls of St. Anthony. Future 
generations will do honor to their memories. 

Prior to Rev. Poiette the church of Iowa City was visited by 
Bishop Loras, Father Cretian, who became first bishop of St. Paul, 
Father Pelamorgues, the second bishop-elect of St. Paul, who was 
the apostle of Davenport and adjacent territory, and who refused the 
bulls making him second bishop of St. Paul. Father Perdin, who 
was located at Garryowen, Jackson county, frequently visited the 
city and administered to the spiritual wants of the few Catholics 
prior to 1846. 

I must not forget to mention the first great missionary of the 
northwest, who broke the bread of life to the : first Catholics of 
Dubuque and vicinity, the venerable and saintly Father Mazzu- 
chelle, who came there in 1837. He gave the plans of the old state 
house in Iowa City and said mass there frequently from 1841 to 
to 1846. 

He was the founder of the Dominican Sisters, whose mother house 
is at vSinsinawa Mound, Wis., and who are at the head of the grand- 
est institution of learning in America, the mother prioress being 
Sister Emily, of the family name of Powers. 


This is as near and as correct a history of St. Mary's church prior 
to my pastorate as can be written. 

I came to Iowa City January 5, 1853, and after February of that 
same year had charge of Iowa City and all missions. There being 
no parochial house, I boarded with a Mrs. Myers, who kept a hotel 
directly south of the old state house, for six months and the bishop 
had to pay my board. Mrs. Myers left and I was kindly taken care 
of by that good and Christian lady, Mrs. P. P. Freeman, whose 
kindness I remember to this day and will to the last day of my life. 

Dr. Wm. Vogt and his amiable wife took care of my bodily wants 
for some time, until the house was built and furnished, which was 
some time about September, 1854. 

The missions and stations I attended during my pastorate, monthly, 
or I may say, occasionally, are: Old Man's Creek, now Holbrook; 
St. Michael's church, a little frame church built of boards whip- 
sawed in the wood. I said mass within before the floor was laid; 
had the beautiful snow for a carpet, a pine box for an altar; in fact, 
a place as forlorn as the stable wherein the Savior was born. There 
were no more than fourteen families all told. English River (the 
Schnoebelen settlement) had a little frame church, St. Sanislaus', 
built and paid for by Mr. Schnoebelen, on forty acres of land given 
by him. Many a time I rode out there, sixteen miles, on horseback, 
with a saddlebag dangling behind, after saying first mass in the city, 
and would not get breakfast until 3 o'clock p. m. A more hospi- 
table man than Schnoebelen never lived. May God rest him. Rich- 
mond, St. Emmanuel, Washington county, was visited by me once, 
accompanied by Bishop Eoras, who said the first mass in a private 
house, in the month of October, 1854. Solon, twelve miles from 
the city, where four Catholic families lived, was visited occasion- 
ally. In 1853-54 I said mass in Cedar Rapids. There were only 
four Catholic families in the city and vicinity. In the same year I 
said mass in Marion, where there were only two Catholic families. 
I was the first priest to say mass in those places, and frequently 
attended sick calls in Des Moines, Fort Dodge and Marengo, and as 
far south as Mount Pleasant. In the whole territory that I visited 
there were not more than eighty families. 

The old St. Mary's had a basement divided into three apartments 
the entire south half being used for a school, a hall running from the 
east to the west side. At the north there were two divisions, one of 
which was not finished in my time; the other I occupied as a study 
and bed room, where I slept for more than eighteen months, the 


good saintly Mrs. Doran, mother of Mrs. P. P. Freeman, making 
my bed, which was indeed a poor one, occasionally for the love of 

During my pastorate the school was conducted first by Miss Ellen 
McCaddon; second, by Alexander Hill, a convert who I understand 
back-slided; third, by the good and saintly Martin Doran, a brother 
of Mrs. P. P. Freeman, all of whom I even to this day hold in the 
greatest and fondest recollection. And may God have mercy on 
their souls. 

The Bell. 

The history of the bell, and indeed it is a very curious one, is 
long since lost in oblivion after so many long years. That's away 
in September, 1854. The good Bishop lyoras was on one of his 
pastoral visits and was my guest for two weeks, looking after the 
spiritual and temporal wants of the Catholic people in the city 
and surrounding territory. I shall never forget that great, good 
and saintly man, the father and founder of the Catholic church in 
Iowa. I think if there was a saintly man on earth, and of that I 
have no doubt, he was one. As the bishop and myself were living 
in the house a teamster by the name of Gubbins, who lived in the 
city and hauled merchandise from and to Muscatine, as all things 
came in that way — we had no railroad — drove up to the church 
with the bell you ask about. The direction on the waybill was 
"St. Mary's Church, Iowa City, Iowa." As I had not ordered the 
bell and had no knowledge of its coming, we were completely taken 
by surprise. The bishop and people were very enthusiastic, and 
concluded some good Catholic had sent the bell as a present or as an 
ex-voto offering to the church. The freight bill from St. I^ouis to 
Iowa City, including the bill of Gubbins, amounted to $iS. A col- 
lection was taken up and freight paid. A day or two after the 
arrival of the bell a German by name of Hanert, a stranger to me 
and almost unknown in the city, came to the bishop and told him 
he ordered the bell and gave it to the church. The good bishop, 
with much ceremony, consecrated it, and gave it the name of St. 
Mary of the Assumption. Carpenters were employed, a bell tower 
twenty feet high erected, and a general jubilee followed, with many 
praises for the generous donor, Mr. Hanert. Now comes the sur- 
prise. vSix months after the consecration of the bell I received a 
letter from the bell makers in St. I^ouis informing me that the bell 
was sent by mistake to our town, but cast for Sacek City, Wiscon- 
sin; and belonged to the Catholics of that city. 


Now what to do under these difficulties was the question. The 
bell was erected, consecrated and freight paid. The people of the 
congregation offered many prayers for the man Hanert, but not 
good ones. Hanert disappeared soon after and made himself very 
scarce, and I never saw him after. 

The year 1855, before I left for Burlington, where the bishop 
changed me to, I made a collection and under many difficulties col- 
lected as much as paid for the bell, which still, I hope, holds me in 

Now with regard to the house which was built in 1854 in the 
north part of the lots near the alley. Four hundred dollars left by an 
old Irish bachelor, by name of Conley,helped to build the house. The 
money was left to Michael Freeman as executor in trust for that pur- 
pose. How much more was left I don't know, but I had much 
difficulty in collecting the balance, which was about $700, from a few 
poor people. The total cost of the house, furnishing and building, 
with materials, was about $1,100. 

I left Iowa City the last of August, 1855, Rev. M. Mitchel, 
succeeding me, and I left without having as much money as would 
pay my fare to Burlington and as poor as when I came to the city 
and with a very poor wardrobe. 

This is as much of a history as you could put in a nutshell. But 
a much larger history of recollections during my stay at Iowa City 
could be written. 

The above is duly submitted at your request. The names of all 
the people, young and old, are as fresh in my mind today as they 
were forty-nine years ago. 


On page 16, second line from the top, for Atlantic, Iowa, read 
Atlanta, Ga. 

Page 18, for Byron Dennis, read Bryan Dennis. 



All persons who are non-residents of Johnson county, who were 
residents of Iowa at the time of the adoption of the first state con- 
stitution for the state of Iowa are eligible to membership. All 
persons hereafter that have resided twenty years in Iowa and are 
residents of Johnson county, may become members by applying to 
the executive committee. Every member shall sign the constitu- 
tion and pay to the treasurer fifty cents and thereafter twenty-five 
cents annually. 

The Old Settlers Association of Johnson county was organized 
February 22, 1866. 

President — David Switzer. 
First Vice-President— F. M. Irish. 
Second Vice-President — ROBERT Walker. 
Treasurer — PETER RobePvTS. 
Secretary — SiLAS FoSTER. 

Committee to Draft Constitution. < T. S. Parvin 

(E. W. Lucas